Two hours before tonight’s game, there is more news involving the Rangers. When they play the Flyers for the second time in three nights, they’ll be without the entire coaching staff.
Coach David Quinn along with assistants Jacques Martin, David Oliver and Greg Brown will be out due to COVID Protocol. In their place will be Hartford Wolfpack coach Kris Knoblauch, Gord Murphy and Associate GM Chris Drury. Knoblauch will be the acting coach for tonight’s game.
As the Covid turns, both Adam Fox and Pavel Buchnevich were removed from the Protocol. They’ll each return to the lineup.
There isn’t much to add. Getting Fox back solidifies a defense that struggled on Monday night. Particularly the K’Andre Miller and Jacob Trouba pairing. Without Fox, the team allowed two power play goals and weren’t as good defensively at even strength. The power play also stunk.
Getting Buchnevich back should really boost the top line which had a bad game in the 5-4 overtime loss. Kaapo Kakko was so bad that he was demoted to the third line in favor of Alexis Lafreniere. Buchnevich’s return can allow Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider to play together with their top right wing, who’s tied with Artemi Panarin in scoring with 22 points.
Figure Kakko and Lafreniere to drop back down to line three with Filip Chytil, who had a good game the other day. As for who comes out, that remains to be seen. Both Brett Howden and Brendan Lemieux combined for a Kevin Rooney goal. Julien Gauthier scored a beauty. He also took three penalties including a hi-sticking double minor on Claude Giroux that allowed the Flyers to tie the score. It looks like he’s out.
It’ll be an interesting decision. Figure Tarmo Reunanen will come out of the lineup despite recording his first NHL assist on an Artemi Panarin goal. One other note. Anthony Bitetto returned to practice yesterday. So, he’s getting closer.
Alex Georgiev gets the start in net. It’s an opportunity to get back on track. His struggles have been well documented. The Rangers need him to be steady and make the key saves. Keith Kinkaid backs up.
The game can be seen exclusively on NBCSN at 7:30 EST. Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! ☘